I am back after a pause for more than a month wanting to write something on the eve of Diwali. Diwali is a festival of lights, victory of good over evil, welcoming Goddess Lakshmi and so on. What do families do during Diwali? Make or buy goodies, new clothes, light the lamps, and of course, no Diwali is ever complete without bursting those tons of fire crackers.
When we burst these crackers along with our families, how many of us will remember that a fire accident took place in Sivakasi fireworks factory just two months back? Almost every year, some fire accident takes place in that factory which burns some human lives. This time, more of onlookers were involved in the accident. These people rushed into the factory thinking that an explosion had taken place and wanting to save their kith & kin. Nevertheless, it is again another blot and a grim reminder of another tragedy relating to fireworks in Sivakasi. People working there are mostly poor and illiterate, forced to work in abysmal and dangerous conditions with little or no protection over their lives, no insurance coverage because the factory owners can easily get these poor people to work for paltry wages.
When we burn the whole year's toil within a few hours, we are not only polluting the environment with all those smoke and fumes, but we scare many helpless animals and birds around. Many old people cannot take sound beyond some decibel levels. Are we really celebrating the true spirit of Diwali and is it a victory of good over evil?
The real victory is celebrated when we are kind and considerate to those poor and helpless workers who work for hours in those hazardous conditions, when we say no to all those bursting fireworks, discovering many interesting and harmless ways of celebrating which will spread the message of love and peace. I know that writing these few lines will not change anything, but this is only an attempt to be heard by some. I wish you all a
"HAPPY AND PEACEFUL DIWALI".
An extended quote from my school autograph:
"Light the Lamps of Diwali with the oil of peace, friendship, sincerity and which will help keep our environment clean."
P.S. This is an article written in a hurry and is short of some more details. Next one coming soon....Watch out!!!